Baby boy injured in hit and run dies

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The Independent Online

A baby seriously injured after a car skidded off the road and ploughed into his pushchair has died, police said yesterday.

Callum Taylor, eight months old, was sitting in the double pushchair a few hundred yards from his house. His family were returning home in the village of West Cornforth, Co Durham after a walk.

Callum suffered serious head injuries when he was struck by the silver VW Passat at 2pm on 27 December. He was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham before being transferred to Newcastle General Hospital at the weekend. He died on Tuesday night after failing to regain consciousness. Callum's sister, Charlotte, 21 months, who was also sitting in the pushchair, was thrown clear of the collision and suffered minor head injuries.

His parents, Brian and Katrina Taylor, were not hurt. His older brother Thomas, six, was also unhurt after his father dragged him out of the path of the oncoming vehicle.

Mrs Taylor's stepfather, Mike Nicholson, 52, said: "If Brian had not showed such presence of mind, the whole family could have been wiped out. He has told us how he heard the sound of the car from behind. He managed to throw Thomas out of the way. Katrina managed to move out of the way as the car hit the buggy and Charlotte was thrown out. They had simply been out for a walk and it all happened in a split second."

Martin Wallwork, a police spokesman, said that the investigation was at an early stage but that officers would be getting a full statement from the family, who had not yet been properly questioned. "Since the accident, Callum's parents have maintained an almost constant vigil at his bedside and have been very distressed," he said.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out and a report prepared for the coroner.

Paul Lee, 25, of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, appeared before Sedgefield magistrates' court in Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham, on Monday 29 December charged with three offences of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to report an accident. He was remanded in custody to appear before Newton Aycliffe magistrates' court on 7 January.

Police said yesterday that they would now consider an alternative charge before his next court appearance.

Another man alleged to have been travelling in the car was also arrested for breaching his licence while out of prison and was sent to jail back earlier this week.